Hotel des Mille Collines: Our full report
Set in large gardens in the heart of Kigali, the four-star Hotel des Mille Collines features in the film Hotel Rwanda.As in the film, the hotel attracts a largely business clientele, but its location also makes it a good base for exploring the Rwandan capital.
Walking into the Mille Colline’s reception area, you feel as if you are in a chic international hotel. Stylish monochrome sofas are backed by designer wallpaper, colourful artwork and beautiful views over the gardens. From this modern interior, guests would hardly believe the role that the hotel played during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, as 1,268 people took refuge within its walls.
The Mille Collines' 112 spacious rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable, without being luxurious. All have private bathrooms, satellite televisions, PC hook-ups and most other standard hotel amenities, but on our most recent visit in 2019 we felt that they appeared a little dated and bland, in contrast to the smart foyer.
Outside, overlooking the city, the hotel’s beautiful gardens feature a large swimming pool surrounded by an extensive patio set with sunloungers. In the adjacent small spa you can enjoy a massage: perhaps one using traditional wooded clubs called rungus to soothe aching muscles.
The bars and restaurants at the Hotel des Mille Collines cover many options:
- La Terrasse, as its name suggests, is set on a large terrace from where you can see the gardens and pool beyond. Buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner feature a wide range of hot and cold dishes.
- Le Panorama opens every evening and offers a ‘gourmet’ dining experience. It is particularly pretty at night with the large windows giving panoramic views over the twinkling lights of Kigali.
- The Legacy Lounge is a sophisticated bar serving a range of drinks and cocktails. Come here on a Friday or Saturday evening and you can enjoy live jazz music.
- Lieu de Vie is a relaxed pool bar serving up a range of tasty snacks and drinks, and known for some of the best kebabs in Kigali (we confirm that they are indeed very good!).
Since Kigali lies in the centre of Rwanda, and is at the hub of the country’s road network, an extended visit to the country could well involve an overnight stay here. If time allows, we highly recommend a visit to the city’s new and insightful Genocide Museum. Not only does it detail the history of Rwanda's genocide, but it also documents the history of genocide around the world, resulting in a very moving experience.
The Hotel des Mille Collines is a relatively standard, slightly anonymous, international hotel. Efforts have clearly been made to keep it up to date, although we felt that the rooms could benefit from refurbishment. We wouldn’t always mention a hotel like this for our travellers, but it offers a good standard of comfort and service and is fairly economically priced, so is worth consideration for an overnight stop.
- Kigali, Rwanda
- Ideal length of stay
- We recommend spending one or two nights here in order to explore Kigali.
- The Mille Collines is in the centre of Kigali, about 6 km from the international airport.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- Meals at La Terrasse are normally served as a buffet style, with a range of hot and cold dishes, but it is also possible to order from an à la carte menu.
On our last visit, in 2019, breakfast was a selection of fresh fruit, cereals and breads, along with various hot dishes and the option of eggs cooked to order.
For lunch we tucked in to a plate of fish in a lightly curried sauce accompanied by rice and fresh vegetables. For dessert we enjoyed a selection of mini deserts and cakes from the buffet.
We ate dinner at the casual pool side bar-restaurant, listening to the live band that was playing. We enjoyed Borchettes (kebabs) and plantain chips.
With all meals were impressed with the quality and variety on offer, as well as the friendly service from restaurant staff.
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at the Hotel des Mille Collines.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- Highchairs and cots are available on request.
- Generally recommended for children
- This is a fairly standard international hotel, and there are no specific facilities for children. There is however a nice pool which older children can enjoy. The pool is not fenced, and there are no pool depth markings or 'No Diving' signs - children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.
- We recommend that children are supervised when using the pool.
- WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
- TV & radio
- There are DSTVs in all rooms.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Staff are first-aid trained. There is also a large hospital in Kigali.
Swimming Pool warning: Guests should be aware that the swimming pool has no pool depth markings or 'No Diving' signs, and use of the pool is at guests' own risk.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- There is 24 hour security around the hotel. the property is gated, and there is airport style scanner at the entrance.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in all areas.
- Disabled access
- In Place
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is at an extra cost of around 2,000 Rwandan francs (US$0.80) per item.
- There are electronic safes in all rooms.
- Accepted payment on location
- The Hotel des Mille Collines accepts all major currencies including US dollars, GB pounds and euros. Major credit cards are accepted, including Mastercard and Visa.
Other lodges in Kigali
Alternative places to stay in this same area.